I’d been certain Logan would come early – since he was “measuring big” (8 lbs 2 oz at his 36 week growth ultrasound) and since my due date by my last period was Sept 11. However, because I was 8 days early with my first, they adjusted it to Sept 17 at an early ultrasound. Around 37 weeks, we started trying everything we could do naturally to induce labor (sex, clary sage oil, evening primrose oil, acupressure, etc.). Nothing seemed to work, although I was having a few Braxton-Hicks contractions each day.
On September 5, at my 38 week checkup, the midwife (Susan) asked me if I wanted her to check to see if anything was happening. She checked and I was 2 cm with a long, firm cervix (so, not much happening). I swear that that check was what put things in motion, though. September 6th was a Saturday and Mark and I took Isabella to Trident coffee to play in the sandbox. Things felt “wetter” on my pantyliner, but I thought nothing of it. I was having more contractions, too, but still nothing to write home about. Well, when we got home and I went to the bathroom, my pantyliner was full of brownish discharge. I called the on-call midwife (Merrilynn Artman) to make sure this was normal and let her know stuff might be happening today. She said everything sounds normal and that, yes, stuff might happen today. She said to call back if I wanted to go in and get checked out or if I started having more contractions. Mark’s friend Brian had driven up from Colorado Springs to return Mark’s bike and go on a bike ride with Mark…I didn’t want anyone else around while I was in early labor – I just wanted to be alone with Mark and Isabella, so I told Mark to ask Brian to leave while I hid in the bathroom.
I slept some and later in the evening Mark and I watched some of The Strain episodes. I was tired after two episodes and said I wanted to go to sleep. But the contractions were coming more often, so I told Mark I wanted to check in with Merrilynn. Merrilynn told me I could go in to the hospital if I wanted to just to get checked out and started on my IV antibiotic (since I was positive for Group B strep). So we told Uncle Jordan we were leaving and headed out with our bag.
Totally different experience getting to the hospital this time compared to when I delivered Isabella. I could walk and talk this time and the car ride wasn’t hell. (My water hadn’t broken and contractions weren’t bad.) They wheeled me from the ER entrance to the Family Birth Center. (We had to enter through the ER since it was after 11 pm – it was around 11:30 pm when we got there.)
Our nurse (Laura) checked me out – I was 4 cm and put me and Logan on the monitor. (She said my bag of waters was bulging out so it was hard to check my cervix.) His heart rate was a little high, so we had to stay on the monitor until it was below 170. She called Merrilynn, who told her to go ahead and start my IV antibiotic (I’d told both Laura and Merrilynn how erratic my labor was with Isabella and how fast it progressed). Laura tried twice to get the needle into my right arm with no luck then called another nurse, who put it in my left hand. The IV drip was started around midnight. My goal was to not have Logan until I got the second IV drip, which I’d need around 4 am. My goal was also another unmedicated birth (no epidural, no drugs).
Laura left Mark and me in the room and unplugged the monitors. Mark and I laid down to try to get some rest and hope that things stayed calm enough for that. Then I got up to go to the bathroom and the contractions started getting more intense. Laura had told us the tub would help slow things down, so I sat in the tub with lavender essential oils in it. Things did NOT slow down – the contractions got longer and stronger and closer together. Mark told me I should go back to the bed, which I did, and call Laura back in, which I did.
Laura got back in and called Merrilynn – told her she needed to get here soon. Laura told me not to push and not to have the baby until Merrilynn came back. (She’d also attempted to pull an OB from a c-section to catch Logan in case Merrilynn didn’t make it in time and she’d called a second nurse in to help in case they had to do the catching instead.) Things were progressing quickly! This was around 2:30 or 3 am.
Merrilynn made it in – in her blue pj’s with white polka dots. She checked me and I was 9.5 cm. She said she’d break my water which should provide some relief and allow me to push. She did … and then it was time to push. They tried to get me to push while squatting, but I didn’t like that and neither did Logan (didn’t look good on the monitor). I wanted to do it the same way I’d done it with Isabella – on my back with Mark and the nurse holding my knees/legs. Once I got to this position, I was able to push better (but MAN, it HURT! I kept saying “I can’t do this! I don’t want to do this! I want my mom!!” Mark kept saying “You ARE doing it!”) I pushed through one contraction, but nothing happened (I wasn’t doing it right – it was very halfhearted because I was so scared!). I pushed through the next two contractions and Logan was out at 4:08 am! (Six REAL pushes…man, it’s hard to get your brain past the idea of “push really hard even though it feels like your insides are coming out”) I think I only had about an hour of hard labor before he was born.
He was so blue, but after a few minutes and lots of jiggling, he pinked up right on my chest. I kept saying “Thank you, Merrilynn.” He was amazing. Merrilynn cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. I got to see the placenta (fascinating!). Logan’s forehead was bruised. I wonder if the labor pains were so different this time because he was sunny side up – Merrilynn had said he was turning around as he came out.
Good news was – no stitches this time – despite Logan’s 8 lbs 5 oz size (12.5 inch head circumference). The ‘roids would bother me a LOT in the next couple weeks (acupuncture helped), but overall, recovery seemed a lot easier.